It is now illegal to send unsolicited naked pictures to people in Texas

Lowenna Waters
Monday 02 September 2019 11:30
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Picture:(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

In Texas, it's now illegal to send unsolicited nude photographs , after the state teamed up with dating giants Bumble to crack down on those who send the nude images on dating apps and elsewhere in cyberspace.

The new Texas law, which bans so-called 'cyber-flashing', comes after state representative Morgan Meyer of Dallas, collaborated with the Austin-based social and dating app Bumble, in order to pass the law earlier this year.

Speaking to Fox 4, Meyer recalled how CEO of Bumble Whitney Wolf Herd had approached him to craft the measure.

They had a number of people who were using the app complaining about the sending of these images and they quickly realised there was no recourse.

There was nothing that could be done. It wasn't a criminal offence - although it was definitely digital sexual harassment.

The new law came into effect in the state on Saturday, and it forbids what is often referred to as 'technology-enabled sexual harassment'. It also makes the electronic transmission of sexually explicit material a Class C misdemeanour, with a fine of up to £500 if the person who received the picture didn't give their consent, reports Fox 4.

Caroline Ellise Roche, Bumble's chief of staff, said the company hopes to take the legislation to the federal level, with the hope of implementing it more widely.

46 states across the US have laws that tackle revenge porn, but none focus solely on unsolicited sexually-explicit images.

However, Austin-based attorney, J.T Morris, who specialises in First Amendment cases, said:

It reaches things that arguably could cover images related to medical advice or moms sharing information about breastfeeding or their babies' health - things like that which certainly can't be criminalized.

HT Jezebel

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